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[Join Steve Kelso and Chris Carter, as they both review Fallout 3's Mothership Zeta pack for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Steve Kelso's review was written months ago when the DLC dropped on the 360, and Chris Carter's is brand new. Intro by Steve Kelso.]

Fallout 3′s Capital Wasteland is without a doubt one of the largest areas to explore inside of a video game to date. Many fans are absolutely clueless about half of the known locations of the map, much less the little secrets which can be found in some random nook or cranny.

If you’ve come across the alien crash site, you have done a fair bit of exploring. Of course who would have ever thought we’d visit the ominous mothership from whence it came?  The deafening cries of alien probes await you upon Mothership Zeta.

Steve Kelso (Xbox 360):

Being abducted is a surreal experience, and honestly it happens just the way you would expect it to.  A bright blue light surrounds you, and suddenly you are no longer in control of where you are going. It doesn’t matter how hard you flail your arms; you’re headed skyward.

When you first awaken, you’ll find a  typical scene of you laying on a table surrounded by little green men with tools for probing scattered about. Although the game never readily identifies what they do to you, it is obvious that it involved a significant portion of pain, and most likely involves the anal region.

When you open your eyes again the adventure begins. You meet a fellow Wastelander named Somah, and together, break out of the prisoner holding area and rescue a little girl named Sally who leads you through the halls of Mothership Zeta.

The 320 MB download was quite small, when you consider that the alien vessel was put together using brand new art assets.  The new design is beautifully put together, combining new colors and designs that are not seen anywhere else in the Fallout 3 universe. The amount of time and dedication it must have taken to put it all together definitely speaks to Bethesda’s desire to create a new, quality experience. Several times throughout my five hours on the mothership I thought of how successful Bethesda could be if their next RPG effort were set in the future. In all my time with Mothership Zeta, I never experienced any noticeable bugs, which is uncharacteristic for a Fallout 3 DLC pack.

aliengun

As you may have guessed, with otherworldly foes as adversaries, you’re granted access to alien weaponry: melee, pistol, and rifle weapons specifically. Each of them is deadly, and almost over-powered. If you have energy weaponry maxed out, you will be almost unstoppable as you fight through the crazy aliens and their robot cohorts. Blasting your way through waves of martians, vaporizing them in a ray of white light is an incredibly satisfying experience.

Moving forward and explaining the story is tricky, because once you’re set free from your martian bonds you collect some very entertaining logs containing some of the last words of many of the other humans abducted from earth. They come from every time period, each bringing with them a small anecdote. From a 1600s priest, to a basketball star, to a  late 90′s Brooklyn punk with a dirty mouth, each record some of their final moments before the aliens probe them through. The other live characters you meet on the ship will bring you a lot of laughs, and really make you appreciate Bethesda’s ability to create unique and interesting characters.

Your main goal upon Mothership Zeta is to escape from the ship, and shut down the various parts of it until you reach the deck. You’ll use the new friends you’ve met upon the vessel, your wits, and of course, the new guns in order to achieve this goal.

Unlike the last three pieces of downloadable content, Mothership Zeta is an incredibly linear experience. The five plotted hours you’ll spend on the ship are well paced and quite enjoyable. In some ways it feels short, and you find yourself wishing there was more, but all in all it’s a worthwhile piece of content. The new characters you’ll meet, and weapons you’ll obtain really set the experience up to be one of the best DLC pieces Bethesda has released so far.

Steven Kelso gives Mothership Zeta an 8.0/10.

mz1

magnalonbiig avatar1 Gamer Limit Dual DLC Review: Fallout 3: Broken Steel Chris Carter (PS3):

When I first found the crashed spaceship in Fallout 3, I was stunned. It was such an amazing, subtle easter egg in an otherwise realistic-feeling game. However: after Mothership Zeta was announced, and Bethesda decided to take this one gag even further, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. I felt like making a full fledged campaign would partially ruin the subtlely of the alien blaster pickup: it turns out I was right.

As soon as you’re abducted into the alien Mothership, you’ll meet with the first of many uninspired characters, and fight a horde of Spaced Invaders, many of which look like Metal Gear Solid 3′s The Fury. Soon, you’ll meet a fairly peppy little girl that somehow knows everything there is to know about the Mothership, and (what else!) annoys you along the way. The worst part about this choice of narrative is the fact that you’ll be taking the setting seriously for a second, and then all of a sudden the girl will scream something like “oopsie! I opened the wrong door! Silly me!”

Throughout the linear mission, you’ll find a horde of tasks such as “destroy the robot factory”, and “destroy the cryo chamber”; all of which are done in the exact same fashion: but it gets worse. The low point of the quest is a section that forces you to don a spacesuit, and fix some minor circuit problems in order to access the top-end of the ship. I assumed that it would be a fun, thrilling Dead Space-esque experience, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

mz2

First off, it doesn’t feel like space; you’re just running around in typical Fallout 3 fashion, prancing about just like you were on Earth. You’ll also be disappointed to know that this section lasts all but one minute, and you don’t actually fight anything in the vacuum of space. I won’t spoil the finale, but it’s a very similar, brief experience that could have been so much more.

So what’s another big draw outside of the actual mission for Fallout 3 DLC junkies? TOYS! And… in terms of loot, Zeta is probably the worst of the lot. You get a modified, weaker version of the alien pistol you already get without the DLC, a rifle version of the old pistol, and a fairly nonsensical drill grenade launcher. In fact, none of the weapons are particularly exciting, and you most likely won’t care about the very few pieces of “space loot” you can pick up, because it’s all boring. You’ll also find that you can’t pick up nearly anything on the shelves in the mothership, which is really disappointing, and is yet another example of rushed design.

Bottom line: only alien or space nuts will enjoy this download pack. Every “different” facet of the mission feels very rushed, and a lot of aspects even feel repetitive. While it took me three hours (and hour longer than most of the DLC) to beat it, it wasn’t a very enjoyable experience in the slightest.

Chris Carter gives Mothership Zeta a 5.0/10.

  1. So after playing threw it twice just to be sure I’ve come to the conclusion that MZ was a rushed expansion that should have had another month of work done on it for the following reasons.

    First and foremost, the lack of story/ or decision. Throughout the expansion there is constant back story of these aliens and who’ve they abducted and what I was expecting was being able to communicate with the captain of the ship and decide whether or not you want to go commando, but no. You had to go in there and kill him, and on a side note all his guards were able to die in one shot, why were they so easy? Anyways, after this there is no explanation of anything and you have accomplished nothing. you get sent back to earth like nothing happened, except with some goodies. the lack of story is not Bethesda’s style, so it was rushed, or a very poor decision. Either way they could have done something about it and chose not to.
    Second, not as big a deal but still annoying, you cannot go back to a majority of the areas on the ship after you beat it, so if you go back to get the tapes you have to start the whole thing all over.
    Third, unlike PL you are forced to follow a certain path with no choice, making the experience not as enjoyable for me at least; and after I finished the main story for PL I still put another 7 hours or so into it before I did everything there. But in MZ once you’re done with the main story you’re done.
    Forth, definitely not important but bothered me very much was the pathetic attempt at space. At least in the Engineering Core if you look out the window you can see the walls with the stars put on it with no sense of depth, something out of Sketch Up or something, and a random sun in the corner of the small room. Note that I wasn’t even looking for flaws it was just the first thing I noticed when I looked out the window.

    So in short MZ felt rushed and was a disappointment mainly because of the lack of story, I felt there was no conclusion and no progress was made, kind of like a filler episode for a crappy anime. If you feel I’m wrong feel free to tell me why, maybe I’m looking at it too pessimistically but right now this is how I feel MZ turned out. I feel it should have had another month or so to give it some story.

    I’d give it a 5/10 only because of the fact that there was no progress made, no story told, nothing explained. I didn’t spend 10 dollars for a few guns, I wanted some story. But I guess I should have just rented a good movie then…

  2. McSpermie

    You’ve got a few good points, but so much of what you experience in Fallout 3 is not story driven in my opinion. It is about the places you visit, and the people around.

    Just out of curiosity, what kind of story would you have written around this experience?

  3. So you get abducted by these dudes and you start off the same as they had it, you are just trying to get off the ship. As you get farther up the ship you start finding documentaries that humans have made explaining some things that the aliens are doing. Next what I would have done is once you are on near the bridge the little girl turns into an alien then betrays you and and sets you up in a trap. There they throw you into the garbage hole thingy but you land on a bunch of teddy bears. So you have to go back up to the bridge but along the way you find another person that has escaped about 15 years ago and has been living down in the garbage hole living off of whatever they threw down. So he comes with you to help out. Once you get back up to the bridge (oh by the way I got rid destroying the death ray, they are not trying to blow up Earth. Why would they blow up the planet they are experimenting on?) you kill the guards and the little girl alien/captain are there. Right then and there you can kill them or you can talk to the captain by translating threw the little girl. He explains that they put humans on the planet hundreds of thousands years ago and have been checking our progress every year on their planet which is 50 or so on ours. He says that there isn’t a point in killing him and will give you a very powerful weapon, a trip back home, and access to the ship whenever you want if you let him live. But if you decide to kill him you can take over the ship and use the death ray to blow up the Alien planet to let the humans live in peace. Either way the aliens won’t bother you anymore, and I would make some parts of the ship that were locked before unlocked for you to explore. (also nothing will lock after you finish either, there is no point for that)

    So yeah I think that’s what I’d do, if I thought about it more I could make it better but I have to catch a plane tomorrow so I have to go to bed. Sorry I won’t be able to reply for 2 weeks but feel free to reply I’ll read it when I get back.

  4. avatar Mattymatt

    i couldnt agree more with McSpermie, ive only downloaded two dlcs for fallout 3 (this and broken steel) and i thought this was no way worth 800 ms points. it was badly thought. there was a small range of foes. there was like you said a small range of extra armour and stuff. the new weapons were ok but not that effective against quite a few aliens. mainly i think it lacked falloutness, shut up about my grammer. but yeah it doesn’t have a) much of a storyline or b) any sort of right or wrong good karma bad karma thing and the whole thing is generally quite uneventful and (i think) three dog doesnt even have anything to say about it

  5. avatar Mikeymike

    I agree with Mcspermie in everything he said. It was a bit rushed, I’d give it a 6/10 though instead.

  6. avatar Mattymatt

    6/10 only cuz its another fallout dlc and fallout is gurrrrrrrrrrrd but mz is a big hunk of donkey s***

  7. avatar Meltdown

    This DLC wasn’t worth 800 MS points in my opinion either. As McSpermie said before, MZ WAS rushed, it’s not even up for dispute wether it was or wasn’t. When you release a DLC every month consecutively, there’s pretty high chance sooner or later that their going to get a little lazy. The star wallpaper annoyed me as well with the random sun in the backround, and there is no clear explanation as to why the “Aliens” were here in the first place. And yeah, I was expecting to talk to the Captain of the ship or something, and on note of the captain, why was he so easy? I play on very hard and i killed him with 3 or 4 shots of my Lincoln’s Repeater (only 1 V.A.T.S session). Plus, didnt Sally say in the beginning that “he’s really mean” or something? Here’s my opinion of all the Fallout 3 DLC’s:

    Anchorage – 7.5/10 (felt a little cheesy to me, but it was still good)
    The Pitt – 9/10 (had an awesome story)
    Broken Steel – 9.5/10 (harder enemies, level cap, extended main quest, what’s not to like?)
    Point Lookout – 9/10 (enjoyed the freeform exploring, along with all the side quests
    Mothership Zeta – 4/10 (if you read what i wrote above, you know why)

  8. I must be like, one of the 5 people who just never got into Fallout 3

  9. avatar LIL D CHENEY

    by the way this is my xbox live gamer tag, zeta did have it flaws but extending the little easter egg in the capital wasteland was genius but i think the only thing besides being able to talk to the captain is make at least 1 alien that helps you they had like two super mutants that were nice and did not try to kill you on sight maybe at least one pacifist alien would have been kinda funny and he could have taken you to the armory and you get better gear and weapons and he could have taken over zeta after you kill the captain and you could come back to zeta to just roam about but i give it 6.5/10. plus bethesda can fix alot of those problems with a update if enough complaints came in so start wining harder guys ha ha ha ha!

  10. avatar who cares

    thanks for putting this under walkthrough it really helped me figure out this already hard game by wasting my time on the internet I’m enjoying the game and like it or not i have to accept your option still i was looking for a walkthrough not a ten minute lecture on how much the game sucks put in a walkthrough or gtfo bye bye

  11. avatar Brandon Paisley

    Wow dude, who cares? No one, not about you at least. It took you ten minutes to read the article? I’m sorry your precious ten minutes are gone, but the article says pretty clearly:
    “GamerLimit Dual DLC Review: Fallout 3’s Mothership Zeta”

    Some people just don’t read titles tho . . .

  12. avatar idk

    opinions are like sexual organs, everyone has one but noone wants to see or hear urs. lol

  13. avatar no name

    Mcspermie had my exact thinking except for the alien girl/captain part. I would have left the captain to work on the ship and knocked out the girl and put her in stasis.

  14. Its za me Colin testing stuff out

  15. I wonder if anyone will ever read these comments

  16. avatar just for you

    yeah read em all happy now?

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  18. avatar francis the tickler

    I loved all the other dlc in Fallout 3 and New Vegas, but I never got around to playing this one until recently since it wasn’t released on a disc. A lot of people like to trash Operation Anchorage and Dead Money, but I thought the former had a cool team mechanic and was like a Fallout take on military FPS games, while the latter had a great story and atmosphere, forcing you to rely more on stealth and survival than all out assault. But having played this for like an hour, Mothership Zeta is crap. Garbage. I can’t believe how bad it is, and this is from a guy who’s looked for every intricacy in both 3 and New Vegas. I’m disgusted with how horrible this is.

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